Children always do things without realizing—especially when they see someone who is different than they are. Their innocence causes them to question, poke fun, or even stare at those who are a bit different than they are. Often times, they don’t know any better. Parents are always condemning them and telling them “it’s rude to stare,” so that they don’t feel as bad.
In a Facebook post, Jenna Gines showed a photo of her two adorable children, and wrote:
Please stop teaching your children not to stare!
What are we teaching them when we say that? Don’t look at someone that is different then you. Don’t be curious or want to learn about something you’ve never seen before. Stay away from things that are different.
Instead, let them stare. Let them ask questions, talk about it. What is it that they see? What is it that they’re curious about? Actually what is different? What is the same?
If it’s someone using a wheelchair, say hi. Someone that looks or acts different, say hi. If it’s someone of short stature, say hi.
Teach your child about differences. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to notice it & to talk about it. Even better to make a new friend. It’s not okay to ignore, look away, or act like a person who is different isn’t there.
Let’s embrace different. Let’s talk about differences & be the change we want to see in this world.
Please stop teaching your children not to stare!🛑What are we teaching them when we say that? Don’t look at someone…
Clearly, Gines’ son is a bit different—he uses a wheelchair. But, Gines doesn’t want other children to “stop staring.” Instead, she urges parents to educate their children and allow them to ask questions and inquire.
Many parents online agreed and thanked Gines for sharing the unique, but the important, lesson.